The “original” Las Palmas Branch Library was opened on March 23, 1969, on land deeded by the Las Palmas Corporation. Over time, the need
for a branch library larger than 5,800 square feet was recognized, but the land was not available to expand the building on the site near the
Las Palmas Shopping Center.
Communities Organized For Public Service (C.O.P.S.) was instrumental in achieving passage of the 1989 Library/Literacy Centers bond issue,
which made construction of the new Las Palmas Branch Library and Literacy Center possible.
The budget for the combined Branch Library and Father Benavides Community Family Resource Center Learning Center was $2.2 million. The
funds to build the new branch were authorized in the 1989 bond issue for library expansions, renovations, new branches, and literary centers.
In addition, a $100,000 Library Services Construction Act federal grant was received to supplement the bond funds. Construction began in
June 1993 and the dedication/opening took place in April 1994.
The three-dimensional Hispanic Heroes mural located in the children’s section depicts César Chávez, the Hon. Henry B. Gonzalez, Emma
Tenayuca, Father Albert Benavides, and Flaco Jimenez against a background of the American and Mexican flags and a series of Texas State
symbols (Mission Espada, bluebonnets, and a mockingbird perched in a pecan tree). It was dedicated in June of 1998. Executed by students of
SAY Sí (San Antonio Youth, Yes), the mural was commissioned by Los Padrinos de Las Palmas and funded by Luby’s, Las Palmas Shopping
In September of 2009, renovations to the library were completed. The $480,000 project, funded by City of San Antonio Certificates of
Obligation, included roof replacement, parking lot repairs, exterior painting and graffiti-proofing, interior painting, restroom renovations,
landscaping, sidewalk repairs, carpet replacement, and installation of a new lighted flagpole.
- Architect: Reitzer, Cruz Inc., San Antonio, TX
- Contractor: Universal City Construction Co., Universal City, TX
- Square footage of the building: 12,000 for the Library and 8,000 for Metro Health, for a total of 20,000 square feet